Minorities In Canada | A PLP Unit

There are three certainties in life, death, taxes, and change. Thankfully we are globally changing and evolving in our acceptance for minorities. Recently in class we worked on a unit aimed to create awareness and discussion towards the experiences for minorities in Canada.

The Beginning of the End

To begin this project we watched a fast paced ad that spoke to the ideas and freedoms that came with being Canadian. After, we stormed the white board and spoke about if this “Canadian experience” is different for minorities. During this assignment I had the realization of how many parts of the Canadian experience is not afforded to Minorities. Whether I knew it or not this assignment would will me to put my best foot forward during this project and really empower me to learn more. 

Wayson Choy’s Jade Peony

During the long windy road to success with our podcast; we where also reading a book, Jade Peony. Jade Peony is a intergenerational story about a immigrant Chinese family (a minority) living in Chinatown during and around WWII. Jade Peony was written by Wayson Choy who wrote the book through the perspectives of the children in the family who embark through life in Chinatown. This book was incredible because it was well written, and it gave us further knowledge about the experiences of minorities in Canada, past and present. 

Vancouvers China Town

Our class, the grade 10 PLP cohort ventured on a brief field study to Vancouver China Town. By no coincidence this is where Jade Peony (the book) took place. This day was extremely fun not only because of the mass amounts of dumplings I ate, but also to discover more about the areas history. Whilst we were there, the class created a mini-podcast called “The Sounds of Chinatown”. For this project we where assigned to create a podcast on our day and to be literal, the sounds of China Town. This day helped me take in the culture of China Town and realize the importance of understanding what these people went through. 


During this unit we did a heck of a lot of writing; to make it even better we wrote about ourselves. Writing about yourself can be difficult, you battle with the idea of being snobby, to humble, or overconfident. In this unit we specifically wrote about our positions. Someone’s position, is a point of view given to them by demographic or experiences, something that gives them a perspective specific to them. During the span of month or so we wrote many different positional papers. These papers not only helped me become a better writer but also helped me reflect on myself. 


The Big Kahuna 

Don’t sweat it, there was a point to all this writing. After quite a bit of sharpening up our writing, we where ready to tackle the big kahuna! We where assigned to write an essay on “how do our positions affect our literature”. Thankfully, my peers and I had some prior experience because of our essay writing last year. Before hurling ourselves into a whirlwind of essay we got organized and planned out a outline. This outline was vital to organizing our attack and knowing what to write. For this essay we where to use personal positions, and also to connect with other assignments, positions from the book (Jade Peony). 


In general the essay ended up good. If I reflect back I would have really prepared myself further because I exposed one of my many weaknesses, writing quickly. I was gifted a extra hour to finish yet I still was disappointed my peers finished much quicker than I did. Very much like the blog post I am writing, I pick my words carefully and never find a flow.

The Big Assignment 

The main part of this unit was a group endeavour that took a while, my group consisted of Jessie, Alivia, and Tamara (Ms. Maxwell assembled the dream team). My groups “minority” was the LGBTQ+ community, an invisible minority. This is a very important detail, a invisible minority is someone that does not appear to be anything out of the “norm”. Examples would be, Chronic Pain, LGBTQ+, and religious beliefs such as Sikhism. The assignment for this project was to create a group podcast that shined a light on a minority group and include the voices of  knowledgeable interviewees. 

You may be wondering, There’s a ton of different minority groups, why LGBTQ+? Well I believe that the time are changing and people want to find inclusiveness in Canada. I felt as though it would be interesting to look at minority group that only a border away there are states that prohibit gay marriages. To find out more about what it is like around the globe for LGBTQ+ people we spoke to the amazing Yvette Narlock who is a badass Seycove Councillor and has been proudly in the LGBTQ+ community for most of her adult life. For our podcast Yvette was our interviewee and was truly amazing. My group members and I where in a deep conversation with her for close to an hour, that brought someone who once knew little about the LGBTQ+ community in Canada, to a knowledgeable ally. 

For this project, once we had the interview and wrote out a outline/script, it was smooth sailing. During the post-production I had the opportunity to work on flaws of mine, such as editing and creating music. Being able to work on a flaw for a project is pretty darn awesome and really helped to advance my skills. For the music and editing I did it all in Garageband. Something technical I also learnt was that audio all needs to be recorded by the same device, and it must be working. For the interview audio it was extremely quiet and could have been more proportionate to the rest. 

Overall in this unit I was blessed to have amazing group members, assignments, and interviewees. During the extent of this unit I was extremely pleased with my learning, I felt like I worked on my writing, interview skills, knowledge of minorities, post-production, inquiry skills, and team work. This unit was a blast, I feel as though it was my favourite of the year.

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